Prices of lithium in China are still surging, with massive electric-vehicle sales facilitating a five-fold gain in the commodity’s price over the past year. Chinese lithium carbonate prices reached a record of over RMB 350,000 per ton on Monday as data showed a 35% month-on-month jump in electric-vehicle registrations in December, reports Caixin. Nearly 400,000 EVs were registered during the month, according to the China Automotive Technology and Research Center. Tesla supplied about 18% of the total.
The sales figures offer the latest evidence that the electric-vehicle revolution is now arriving in full force, fueling sharp gains in the shares of carmakers and mining equities alike. Ganfeng Lithium, which signed a long-term supply deal with Tesla in November, said its profits for 2021 will be up as much as 437%, fueled by the “fast development” of the EV industry.
But with lithium prices blowing past records, there’s a growing risk that raw-material inflation could soon create headwinds for the burgeoning industry.